SoftBank to buy back its $4.8 billion shares as pressure piles from Elliott

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SoftBank Group Corp said on Friday it would buy back up to 500 billion Yen ($4.8 billion) of its own shares after activist investor Elliot Management pressured the company to buy back $20 billion in stock.

A SoftBank spokesperson said that the company’s  buyback move was of its own discretion after it had considered risks that the current market volatility could increase the deep discount that SoftBank's stock has. The spokesperson did not reveal any further financing plans for the buyback.  

The company said in February that it had plans to get a loan of 500 billion Yen accumulated from 16 domestic and foreign financial institutions using part of its stake in telecommunications firm SoftBank Corp as collateral to boost its cash on hand.

Elliott, one of the world's most powerful activist investors who has held around $3 billion in Softbank has held pressed the company on various issues like buybacks and transparency.

SoftBank's shares dropped by 8% after the Tokyo market underperformed amid growing fears about the the virus outbreak.

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